Teaching with Special Collections

We welcome undergraduate and graduate class visits. We offer instructional sessions using rare books and special collections materials in either our Seminar Room (the Graham George Room) or our Reading Room depending on availability.

Rare Books and Special Collections can help to inform, educate and engage students in course topics. Our instruction sessions provide students with the opportunity to conduct hands-on research with primary sources, develop research skills, learn how to handle rare materials, and prepare for future independent research in special collections and rare books.

Request a Class

We kindly ask that you request classes a minimum of two weeks in advance. We can generally accommodate a maximum of twenty students, but will do all in our power to meet your needs. Contact us if you have questions about class size. Access our Schedule a Class form here.


We offer a few options in planning a class visit. Regardless of how you choose to lead your session, class visits are conducted in a reading room environment and students will be expected to follow our Reading Room Guidelines.

Librarian Led Class

The Cuator of Rare Books and Special Collections is available to teach classes with our collections. We can custom design the session to best meet your teaching objectives for your course by:

  • Featuring collection material that corresponds to your specific course
  • Engaging students in hands-on exercises and group discussion
  • Providing an orientation to the reading room environment and rare materials research

Faculty & Librarian Led Class

We are here to support your teaching and are happy to co-teach sessions. Such collaboration enables students to understand why you’ve chosen particular items and how they relate to your course, while simultaneously learning how to conduct materials research.

Faculty Led Class

Faculty are welcome to teach their own sessions with Rare Books and Special Collections materials. A Jordan staff member may remain present in the room to ensure proper handling and care of the items.

Teaching Support

  • Orientation to W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections
    We look forward to introducing people to our collections and are happy to provide an individual orientation to Special Collections. We can tour the collections and suggest materials for specific courses. We also provide introductions to procedures: requesting a class, compiling a course list, reserving items for assignments. If you would like to schedule an orientation contact us with possible dates. 
  • Teaching Resources

Ask Us

Ask Us

For help locating resources, using the library, or to request a research consultation, try our Ask Us service.

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Getting Started

Getting Started

Find resources to help you get started with your research and assignments.

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All Types of Information

All Types of Information

We work with researchers, learners and instructors across the disciplines to ensure they have the information resources they need.

All Types